Monday, August 11, 2014

Diary of a Provincial Lady

Diary of a Provincial Lady
by E.M. Delafield

In 1930s England, an upper-middle-class "lady of the house" records the comic adventures (and misadventures) of life in "the country".  Our Provincial Lady has a taciturn husband, a son away at the English version of "public school", a young daughter in the care of a French nanny/governess, friends, an irritating neighbor or two, constant trouble with money and servants, humble literary ambitions, and the undying hope that she will someday persuade her flower bulbs to perform up to standard. 

My Reaction:
(Shared read with Donald.  We found the book for free on the Australian Project Gutenberg, I think...  There were some formatting issues and the occasional typo, but nothing too terrible.  I may have had to convert it to mobi-format, so that might have created some of the problems.)

We found the Provincial Lady's observations quite amusing and will be sure to check out her other books.  Again and again, we had to laugh and shake our heads over how some things never change.  (And then there were a few things that I think we didn't quite get, but they didn't detract from the book's overall appeal.)

One comment:  If you don't know a little French (or if, like me, the very little French you once knew has mostly mysteriously disappeared), Mademoiselle's rather frequent comments en fran├žais may feel more like a nuisance than an amusement. 

A fun read-- not quite on par with the best Wodehouse, but still a delightful read.  It's a pleasure to know that there are more of them waiting to be enjoyed!